I have a new site and a new blog. Yes, I'm joining the great exodus to WordPress! I was originally going to crosspost here, but it seemed like a good opportunity to migrate to my [livejournal.com profile] seanwilliams username, so that's what I'll aim to do. Out with the old, in with the new--but I hope you'll follow me across. I'll miss you if you don't!


apolz

Jul. 24th, 2011 11:01 am

Intensely editing TWINMAKER at the moment, so apologies for being especially tardy on all fronts. Ordinary everyday tardiness will resume soon.


mathrimony

Jul. 1st, 2011 12:39 pm
On Monday, the wonderful Amanda returns from Canada, where she's been on a rather inconveniently timed research trip. Our schedules are often like this: she's home while I'm away, then I'm home while she's away. Sometimes we overlap for a few days, home or abroad, and that's always nice--but do jetlagged days really count as days, or are they just wistful dreams of far-off normality?

Anyway, we worked out this morning that in total we've spent just two weeks out of the last eleven together. And that, on anyone's calculator, is a rather sad result. So extra excitement for Monday. Roll out the champagne and hold all calls! At last my heart will be where my home is.
Just heard via the most excellent[livejournal.com profile] jennyblackford that both my humongous novellas from last year were honorably mentioned by Gardner Dozois in his Year's Best SF 28. Woohoo! That's "The Spark (A Romance in Three Acts)" and "A Glimpse of the Marvelous Structure (and the Threat It Entails)". This makes makes me very happy.
Congrats to SpecFaction and everyone involved for a terrific event last night. Congrats to the winners, the nominees, and everyone who submitted work for consideration. And congrats to the crazy Rapture-dudes for being wrong about the world ending before the Australian spec fic community got its party. We deserve nothing less! I'm glad someone up there realises it too.

(Not that there is anyone "up there", of course, but if there was She would totally dig spec fic, not to mention the vibe in the bar last night.)
 
Happy times, not End Times.
You probably know that the Aurealis Awards have moved to Sydney. You might also know who the nominees are and that this year's round of awards will be presented on May 21 (details here). You might be coming--in which case, awesome! You don't need to read any further.

This post is for those on the fence.

Here's why you should be there.

Being a writer is a whole lot more than just words. It's about people and the connections between them. In this context, I like to bander one particular word around a lot: community. Oh, and celebration, which is a whole lot more than tossing back champagnes and scoffing pizza at two in the morning. Events like the Aurealis bash give writers a chance to celebrate the community that welcomes, guides and supports them (us) through what can, honestly, be a pretty shitty career path. They provide opportunities to bond, to form networks, and to share info. Cons do the same thing, but this is just one night. It's cheaper. Why wouldn't you go?

Besides, this is the night of the year on which we, the speculative fiction crowd of Australia, really truly frocks up. You know that cliche about fans wearing Star Trek costumes? Well, anyone who's been to an AA night knows just how stupid that is. We are one hot looking bunch. And the spotlight's on everyone, not just the nominees and winners. We bask in each other's brilliance.

I'm assuming that every Sydneysider who can physically make it has already bought a ticket and will be coming along. (I'll be there--I'll notice if you're not!) I understand that for everyone else it's a long way to go and money is tight. Just think seriously about it. I've lost count of the number of AA bashes I attended in Brisbane and elsewhere, sometimes in very lean times indeed, and I regard it as money well spent. An investment in my vocation--hell, even the ATO agrees with me on that.

Without you, celebrations like this aren't possible. Community isn't possible. So come along and clink glasses with your best mates and your worst enemies. We're all in the same boat, after all, and the journey is so much more enjoyable in good company.
Australians win more WOTF awards per entry than any other country. For real. That's something I learned just today. And you know what? I'm not surprised. We've been taking home the gongs for over twenty years now, and I've lost track of how many winners we've had all up. There were three this year alone. Three.

So what's our secret? Any guesses? I'm at a loss, but I reckon it's a bloody good thing.

(Userpic taken at a past award night. Note the hair: a long time in the past.)
Dave Cake and I are DJing at Swancon next weekend, as is our wont, and in response to the occasional criticism that I play the same old stuff over and over again (I take that as a compliment!) I've decided to liven things up by not playing songs I've played more than once before unless someone requests it. So no "Jesse's Girl", no "Block Rockin' Beats", no "Dancing Queen", no "Blue Monday"--unless you ask for it, in which case I'd be happy to fit it in somewhere (twist my rubber arm). This doesn't apply to Dave--in fact, we haven't even discussed it--but I'm looking forward to the challenge. Thinking out of the box, all that.

So what will I be playing instead? I don't know for sure, beyond the opening two or three songs. It depends on the night. Some classic Aussie rock, maybe, and I have a progressive house set that I could be talked into. Stick around and find out.
Here's my schedule for the rest of the year:
If you want to catch me at any of these events, check the sites for program details. I'm the Australian GOH of Swancon, an invited guest of LA, Auckland, Sydney and Hay, a possible presenter of an AA, and just hanging out at this stage at WFC. There will also be the odd signing and tour date outside those festivals, which I’ll try to update here.

Sadly, I won’t be at this year’s Writers of the Future bash because it clashes with both Sydney and Auckland. Congrats to all the winners--particularly, and rather parochially, the Australians (I’m told we have a couple this year). My apologies for not being able to be there to celebrate with you.

I'll also miss the Nebulas (clashes with Sydney), which is a shame as I was keen to attend at least one SFWA committee meeting while ORD. Can't be everywhere at once, I guess, but I still feel a little guilty about it.

If you're in Adelaide and want to catch up . . . July is looking good!
The nominations for the annual Scribe Award have been announced, and I'm very pleased to see Star Wars:The Force Unleashed II on the list. Presented by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, the awards acknowledge excellence in the field of licensed tie-ins--novels based on TV, movies and games--and I'm absolutely chuffed to have one of my books nominated. It's the first time, and quite an honour. The results will be announced at a special ceremony at the San Diego Comic-Con in July.

This reminds me that there has been some good press recently for my Star Wars novels, so here are reviews and news that I've been remiss in posting.

The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance was voted one of the top ten best Star Wars novels of 2010 over at Village Gate. It's been described as "an outstanding addition to the Expanded Universe” (EUCantina) and “one of the most solidly entertaining Star Wars novels I’ve read” (Fantasy Book Review), with “space battles, lightsaber fights, chase scenes and lots of strange planets to visit, not to mention scheming Sith lords – everything you’d want out of a great Star Wars book” (Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin’). So that's awesome. 

The first Force Unleashed instalment continues to garner reviews: “This is a great book with lots of action and some interesting plot twists. I highly recommend it.” (Ezine@rticles) “[A] book that even manages to resonate on an emotional level with a belter of a finale”. (HorrorScope) And the sequel has been getting a bit of love too, apart from the Scribe nomination. “If you were a fan of The Force Unleashed, you'll definitely want to see where this next installment leads.” (SF Site) And Itchy Thumbs described it as “an enjoyable look at the early Rebel Alliance...altogether making for a worthwhile read”.

I'm making notes for a Star Wars short story this week (more later, I hope) so it's a great time to get good news on that front.
 
If you're coming to Sydney for the Aurealis Awards bash, why not start the day a little earlier? I'll be talking with Peter Hollo about remixing as part of the Sydney Writers' Festival, which I'm attending as a guest (and very excited about it I am, too). Garth Nix and I will be larking about as well, here and there. Full program available here.

Master Remix with Sean Williams

Saturday, 21 May 1.00-2.00
Sydney Dance Company Studio 2/3

Sean Williams has collaborated with Garth Nix, Shane Dix and Simon Brown. But the list doesn’t end there. He’s also collaborated with Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Darwin (rewriting his most famous work as a series of haiku using his own words, using them to portray the evolution of the poetic form) and Gary Numan (in a series of novels in which one character speaks solely in his lyrics). He tells Peter Hollo of FourPlay how he makes it all work creatively (and legally).

 

asim-metry

Apr. 3rd, 2011 08:57 am
Received copies of ASIM 50--and it is a beauty! Contains my 8-word short story "The Rise, and Fall, of Neologopolis" and much, much more.
adelaidesean: (bear)
Got a free afternoon on Sunday the 27th? Join Richard Harland and I at the Adelaide Festival Centre Amphitheatre at 2.45 for half an hour of fun and frivolity and . . . actually, I don't know what we'll be doing, exactly. We'll make it up as we go along. But we'll have a good time, and I guarantee that you will too.

This is part of the awesome ComeOut Festival, a program for children, young people, and families. There are workshops and performances and all manner of excellent things. I'm also taking a five-day workshop for young writers with A. J. Mackinnon, one of the most entertaining writers and speakers you'll ever see. All in all, it's going to be a busy and brilliant week.
This is the first of several trailers for Troublestwisters, the the series Garth Nix and I have been working on for a while now. More to come!

Here's the blurb:

When their home mysteriously explodes around their ears, twins Jack and Jaide are sent to live in a place they have never heard of, to stay with a grandmother they have never met. Portland might seem like a quiet coastal town, but it soon becomes apparent that Grandma X is more than a little eccentric, and the strange things going on in the town are anything but ordinary.

Talking cats, swarms of cockroaches, a miniature tornado trashing their room—life is about to get a lot more interesting!

There are lots of initiatives around to help save our beloved Queenslanders from the mud of La Nina. If you know all this, please skip the hard sell and just go to the links in order to improve your chances in the next life.

One sterling effort is Writers on Rafts, where you buy chances to win cool stuff in several different categories. I've volunteered some signed books, some face time, and a Tuckerization.

There's also Authors for Queensland, for those who like to bid directly rather than take your chances. I have some signed series and rare hardbacks on offer.

All the money goes to the Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal to help victims of the Queensland floods. And that's a good thing, yessir. (I'm hoping to come back as a meerkat. Or a fez. Either one.)

hugoboo

Jan. 11th, 2011 08:24 am
It’s Hugo time again, and I have a couple of eligible novellas. 

The first is “A Glimpse of the Magnificent Structure (and the Threat it Entails)” from Godlike Machines, edited by Jonathan Strahan and published by SF Book Club. It’s a little hard to find outside the US, but has been received very well and is, I think, one of the best things I’ve ever written. That would be my pick if you wanted to nominate me for anything.

But if you were to go completely crazy and want to nominate two things, the other novella is “The Spark (A Romance in Four Acts): A Tale of the Change” from Legends of Australian Fantasy, edited by Jack Dann and the mighty Jonathan Strahan again, published by HarperCollins Australia.

It’s very hard to compare the two--since one’s mind/space-bending SF and the other is a fantastical story about a creature that eats love, and I’m equally proud of both--but I figure “Structure” has the best shot, for what that’s worth.

Remember, everyone who had a membership to AussieCon IV can nominate. The window closes late March, so you have plenty of time to think about it (and for the cheques to clear). If you’re outside the distribution reach of either anthology, let me know and I’ll see if I can get you an electronic copy.
If there’s one thing reading two decades of New Scientist has taught me --

and which it seems that either scientists keep forgetting or science journalists still think is newsworthy )

--it’s that the universe is always more interesting than we expected.

And that is completely brilliant.
adelaidesean: (dog collar)
Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone. I hope 2010 ends with a bang that echoes through 2011 and well into 2012. May your sales be at pro rates, your royalties high, and your work/play ratio in perfect balance. May all your words be magical, and reviewed accordingly. May we catch up at numerous cons and drink pink drinks into the wee hours. May we all offend someone at least once, apologise sincerely, and be forgiven in good grace. May we  grow wiser and--in my case in particular--more patient with those who hold with crazy ideas opinions that differ to mine. May I preach less, reason more, and meet all my deadlines. Amen.
I’ve been writing hard the last few weeks (two short stories, one novel, numerous treatments of the Crooked Letter TV series pitch document), so I’ve been slack when it comes to posting to reviews of The Force Unleashed II, The Fixers, my story in Godlike Machines, and evenThe Grand Conjunction, plus a quick plug in The Australian Literary Review (thanks, Rowena). So there are some links, if you’re interested.

There have also been a ton of interviews, articles and podcasts. Most relate to The Force Unleashed II, but not all. I try to give new answers each time, which leads me to wonder if I’ve ever contradicted myself. Hopefully I have. It’d be a shame not to leave something for future scholars to argue over...

“Romantic preconceptions of sitting in an old leather chair, at a classically carved wooden desk edged by a quill pen, writing pad and a rustic typewriter quickly dissolve as Sean talks about balancing his writing duties with literary boards, international travel, publicity interviews, phone calls to an accountant, phone calls to editors, phone calls to publicists, washing clothes and the occasional trip to the shops.” (ABC) 

“I like to shake things up a bit, creatively. Doing the same thing over and over again is the quickest way to kill the excitement one should feel when working on a novel.” (Titan Books)

“[T]he character of Nitram was originally a Clantaani, but he was changed to the more familiar Bothan. In a galaxy so huge and varied, it seems a shame to me to default to the least unusual, but it doesn’t always happen, and being obscure sometimes comes with its own risks.” (Total Sci-Fi Online)

“My stepsons think I’m a total geek because I don’t like sport and love shows like Doctor Who. My study is full of remote-control Daleks, Colonial Vipers, steampunk Godzillas, and so on. I also have an Energy Dome, which probably gives me a bigger claim to geek status than anything sci-fi-related. I mean, sci-fi is so mainstream now. You have to dig deep to find something that people will really find odd.” (Geek Syndicate)

“Ultimately I’m writing an adaptation of the game–the canonical version, to boot–so getting the book right isn’t entirely a matter of aping what happens on the small screen. It’s about telling the right story.” (Blogomatic 3000)

“James talks to Sean Williams, author of The Force Unleashed II novelization.” (Rebelscum) - 

“As we continue our conversation we look into what happens to a story when major villains are brought into it and the consequences following. Why sometimes it's easier to omit something than change the entire course of a story. How these figures formulate the design or even alter the story itself.” (Galactic Holofeed)

“The staff of Star Wars Action News are excited for the return of Starkiller, and so this week they ... talked to Sean about the writing process of the books, as well as Sean's other Star Wars tie-in novel, The Old Republic -- Fatal Alliance!” (Star Wars Action News) 

Sorry to dump it all in one huge lump. I'll try to be good from now on!

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